How to Disable Discord Overlay

When you are playing a team-based game, communication with your other team members is very important. It is no surprise then that Discord has become a popular tool amongst gamers, as it is one of the best text and chat tools around. Having the overlay while playing keeps you connected to every party member at all times.

How to Disable Discord Overlay

When you are back to playing solo, the overlay becomes rather useless and tends to be more of a distraction than a help. Knowing how to disable the Discord Overlay so that you can concentrate on your game is a useful bit of information to have.

How to Disable the Discord Overlay for Windows or Chromebook

You can disable the Discord Overlay for particular games or all games on your computer. Whether using a Windows PC or a Chromebook, the process is the same as the application is not OS dependent. To disable the overlay on your computer, follow these steps:

Note: The Overlay function is not available for Mac users.

  1. Open your Discord app. If the Discord application window does not open, check to see if it is minimized on your system tray.
  2. Once on the Discord Home screen, click on the User Settings icon. This will be the gear icon to the bottom left of the screen.
  3. From the menu on the left, scroll down until you get to App Settings. Find and click on Overlay.
  4. At the very top of the menu that appears, find the Enable in-game overlay toggle. Click this to toggle it on or off. The Toggle Overlay Lock option should be grayed out if it is off.
  5. Navigate out of this window. While Discord is open, launch any game. If the overlay has been correctly disabled, it should no longer appear.

How to Disable the Discord Overlay on Steam

There is no specific setting to turn off the Discord Overlay only for Steam games while leaving it on for other game libraries. Turning it off through the Overlay option, as shown above, will also disable it for Steam. Just follow the instructions above for Windows and Chromebooks. However, Steam has its own overlay that you may want to turn off instead. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Steam application. If the Steam window does not maximize, the app may be minimized in your taskbar. Double-click the Steam icon to open the window.
  2. Click on the Steam menu in the upper left corner of the Steam window. From the dropdown menu, click on Settings.
  3. In the left menu of the window that pops up, select In-Game.
  4. See if the checkbox on Enable Steam Overlay while In-game has been toggled on. If it is, toggle it off.
  5. Click on the Ok button at the bottom right to save your changes.
  6. Both Steam and Discord overlays should now be disabled when you play Steam games.

Disable Discord Overlay for a Game

If you wish to disable the Discord Overlay for a particular game, you can use the Discord Settings options. This applies to all games you have installed, whether or not they are team-based.

To do this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Discord app. Double-click the Discord icon on your taskbar if the window does not maximize.
  2. Log onto your game. Once the game is running, either push the Alt + tab to minimize the main window, or you can exit the game entirely.
  3. On Discord, open the User Settings menu. Click on the gear icon on the lower left part of the Discord screen to the right of your username.
  4. On the menu to the left, scroll down until you get to App Settings. Find and click on Game Activity.
  5. On the menu to the right, under Added Games, you should see your game.
  6. To the right of the game, you should see a screen icon. This is the Toggle Overlay button. Turning this on or off will disable the overlay only for that particular game.
  7. Once you have made your changes, you can navigate out of this window.
  8. Open or return to your game to see if the overlay has been properly disabled.

Disabling Text Chats but Keeping Overlay

If instead of disabling the overlay entirely, you simply wish to get rid of the text chats, you can also do so using the user settings. Follow the steps as given below to accomplish this:

  1. Open your Discord App.
  2. Click on the User Settings icon. This is the gear icon to the right side of your username.
  3. On the menu to the left, scroll down to App Settings. Click on Overlay.
  4. Scroll down to the very bottom of the options to the right. Find the Show Text Chat Notifications toggle. Turn this toggle off.
  5. You can navigate out of this window now. Launch a game while Discord is open to see if the text chat has been disabled.

Accessing the Overlay Setting In-Game

If you want to access the overlay while you are playing a game and without having to minimize the game window, then you can use the overlay lock button. The shortcut default is Shift + ` and can be accessed anytime as long as Discord is open.

The Overlay lock allows you to change the position of the Discord chat windows, enable or disable text chats, enable or disable the entire overlay, and keep the Discord options visible in-game. To perform the specific commands, you can do the following while in-game:

  1. Open the Discord Options.
    1. Click on the Overlay Lock shortcut. The default is Shift +.
  2. Adjust the position of the overlay window
    1. In the menu to the left, click on Settings. It should be the gear icon on the top left.
    2. On the General tab, choose one of the four squares to determine where the overlay will be.
  3. Disable the overlay
    1. Click on Settings and the General tab as shown in the instructions above.
    2. Instead of one of the four corners, click on the circle in the middle.
  4. Turn off text chat
    1. Click on the Settings and open General.
    Click on the Show Text Chat Notifications toggle.

Overlay Won’t Turn On

Sometimes you may want the overlay enabled but you just can not get it to work. This may be because the overlay itself has been disabled or some other type of error. To find the reason as to why Discord may not be working, follow the steps as given below:

  1. See if the game actually supports Discord. Some games, especially older ones, are not able to run the Discord Overlay. If you are playing an old game and Discord refuses to work, check the game’s website to see if they actually support overlay functions.
  2. Check if Discord Overlay has been disabled.
    1. Using the instructions as given in the Windows, Mac, and Chromebook section, navigate to the Overlay menu and see if the In-Game overlay has been toggled off. If it is, turn it on.
    2. Run the game while Discord is open to see if the overlay has been activated.
  3. Reboot your computer.
    Sometimes, all it takes to fix any software errors is to reboot your computer. Shut down both Discord and your game properly and then restart your PC. Once it has started back up, open the applications again.
  4. Run Discord on Administrator
    It is also possible that the Discord Overlay refuses to run because it does not have enough Administrator privileges to function properly. You will need to do the following to enable Administrator functionality in Discord
    1. Temporary Admin Privilege
    a. Right-click on the Discord shortcut or application icon.
    b. From the menu, choose Run as Administrator.
    c. On the popup window, click on Yes.
    2. Permanent Admin Privileges
    a. Right-click on the Discord shortcut or app icon.
    b. Click on Properties.
    c. Click on the Compatibility tab.
    d. Under Settings, click on the Run this program as an administrator checkbox.
    e. Click on Apply.
    f. Open Discord to see if it can now run the overlay.

Focusing on Your Gameplay

Although the Discord tool is a great way to communicate with teammates, the overlay can get a bit annoying, especially if you’re playing solo. Knowing how to disable the Discord Overlay, even if only temporarily, removes such nuisances and allows you to focus on your gameplay.

Do you know of other ways to disable the Discord Overlay? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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